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Housing policy

How the census affects us all

This commentary by VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins appeared recently in VTDigger

As the start of the 2020 U.S. census nears, it is important to understand its immense impact on our daily lives and why an accurate count of our nation’s population is so important.

Maura Collins interviewed by Tax Credit Advisor magazine

VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins
VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins

State announces outreach meetings for HUD Consolidated Plan

The State of Vermont’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is inviting the public to attend a series of community outreach meetings around the state to inform its upcoming HUD Consolidated Plan.  

Act 48 stakeholder meeting to be held on December 16

In 2019, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 48, which included asking the State Treasurer to evaluate and report on options for funding and financing affordable housing in the state.  This report is due on January 15, 2020.

Big ideas for local housing challenges

Although Vermont communities face hard work in turning the tide of rising housing affordability, consensus is growing about the most effective ways to do this.  At a recent gathering convened by Fannie Mae and the Urban Institute, business, government and non-profit leaders agreed that many of the root causes and solutions to the nation’s housing affordability crisis are tied to local action. 

Whose voices are heard in local decision making?

In our increasing complex system of government, housing is one of few policy areas that is still largely decided at the local level. Resident input can have a significant influence on the number and types of homes that are built in a community. However, a study of local governments in Massachusetts reveals that people who participate in planning and zoning meetings often do not match the demographics of their communities as a whole.

VHFA seeks public comment on Tax Credit Qualified Allocation Plan

Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is seeking feedback and comments on the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) that guides the agency in making housing tax credit allocation decisions. The agency is opening the comment and feedback period effective April 23, 2019 and will close the period on Friday, May 24. The current version of the QAP is available on VHFA’s website.

Interim Zoning in South Burlington likely to reduce housing affordability

Due to its upward pressure on home prices, VHFA urged the South Burlington City Council this week to end the ban on home building known as Interim Zoning.  South Burlington adopted the Interim Zoning Bylaw on November 13, 2018 after protests about future home building proposed within the City.

Improve health through housing at the Vermont Statewide Housing Conference

Consensus is growing quickly that improving housing options is essential to improving the health of Vermonters.  Released this week, early results of the 2019 Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties Community Health Needs Assessment show affordable housing as the top-ranked concern among social and environmental health challenges. To help connect the people and systems focused on housing and health care, the upcoming Vermont Statewide Housing Conference on November 13-14 in Burlington will provide several innovative opportunities to move forward.

Federal Financing Bank Risk Share Initiative extended through Dec. 2018

HUD announced last week that it will extend the multifamily risk-sharing initiative with the Federal Financing Bank for VHFA and other eligible U.S. housing finance agencies (HFAs). Created in 2015, this initiative has provided much-needed access for HFAs to the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank.

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